The Pen

SACS Gives Clarity to Lumpkins’ Spin

Once again showing up the Baptist Press in the journalism department, Bob Allen at the Associated Baptist Press did a little research and then (**gasp!**) reported on it. If the BP could stop pumping sunshine for a moment, they could learn how this whole “reporting the news” thing works.

Remember back in September when Brewton-Parker/Peter Lumpkins released this statement?

“This decision by the appeals committee of SACSCOC is a validation of SACSCOC’s own processes and shows that the system works. We are thankful the appeals committee recognized what we knew all along – that Brewton-Parker College is a financially stable and viable institution of higher learning,” Brewton-Parker College President Dr. Ergun Caner said. He added: “This decision is the result of thousands of hours of work by the entire Brewton-Parker College community. This victory is shared, not only by our trustees, faculty, staff and students, but also the entire community of dedicated friends around us. The people of Mount Vernon, Ailey, Montgomery County, and the entire region stood by us. Today that trust was validated. Our students, faculty, staff and partners in the community who have stood by our side should know that we are confident that Brewton-Parker College will remain accredited by SACSCOC.”

Did the appeals committee recognize that “Brewton-Parker College is a financially stable and viable institution of higher learning?” Is this decision a “victory” and “validation of trust?” Did it really demonstrate an about-face of the appeals committee?

You might recall SACS not appreciating Tommy French’s spinning of their decision to reinstate accreditation to Louisiana College as an exoneration of Joe Aguillard, and explained so clearly in a letter to trustees.

Unfortunately, SACS has had its hands full in the last year of corruption-riddled Southern Baptist Colleges run by nefarious, sketchy characters. Having to smack down the ridiculous claims by the French-led LC Board that they exonerated Joe, SACS has now had to smack down the dishonest spin of Peter Lumpkins concerning their appeals committee decision in the Brewton-Park press release. SACS simply does not want to be mischaracterized or lied about by Southern Baptist henchmen and their spin-doctors, and they’re willing to go to print to prove it.

SACS responded to Lumpkins’ press release with this document.

What this document reveals is that:

(1) The Appeals Committee of the College Delegate Assembly actually affirmed their June decision to terminate the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.

(2) The Appeals Committee found the “SACSCOC Board of Trustee decision to be reasonable, not arbitrary, and based on the standards cited.”

(3) The Committee determined that the Brewton-Parker College “did not present evidence that the SACSCOC’ Board of Trustees, in reaching its decision, failed to follow its procedures in its decision to remove membership.”

And in direct opposition to Lumkins’ dishonesty…

(4) The Appeals Committee did not find that the College had corrected previously identified financial problems that had led to non-compliance with the Principles of Accreditation; rather, it determined that the new financial information warranted consideration by the SACSCOC Board in December when it makes its decision regarding the College’s compliance with the financial standards of the membership.

In short, the SACS decision had nothing to do with the substance of the information presented, but only that it was new information that should be reviewed before affirming (for a third time) that Brewton-Parker should have their accreditation removed. As you can see, this is hardly the victory that Lumpkins and Caner had bragged about in their own press release; in fact, the press release was so dishonest that apparently SACS felt the responsibility to correct it and publicly scold them.

Remember that Caner’s attorney tried the very same tactic while suing Christians for releasing non-copyrighted videos of his lies to the United States Marines (paging Tim Lee, paging Tim Lee). Trying to delay and stall the inevitable were mentioned by both judges as a reason to issue fees in his frivolous lawsuits. Delaying and stalling the inevitable may provide momentary rewards and premature celebration, but rarely is it fruitful in the end.

Who would have believed that Lumpkins and Caner could be capable of such dishonest spin? Oh, right. Almost everybody.  We would call the duo to repentance for being dishonest in their representation of facts, but that hasn’t seemed to help in the past.